accretion disk

noun

Definition of accretion disk

: a disk of usually gaseous matter surrounding a massive celestial object (such as a black hole) in which the matter gradually spirals in toward and accretes onto the object as a result of gravitational attraction

Examples of accretion disk in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The swarm could be made of many individual collectors placed all around the different parts of a black hole in order to best collect from the accretion disk, the corona, and the relativistic jets. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 6 Sep. 2021 From their calculations, Hsiao and colleagues concluded that the accretion disk, surrounding gas, and jets of black holes can all serve as viable energy sources. Ian Randall, Science | AAAS, 16 Aug. 2021 One theory holds that an accretion disk, the swirling whirlpool of matter spiraling into the black hole, generates a magnetic field that funnels some of the matter into a jet. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, 19 July 2021 But an active galactic nucleus, where the gravity of a supermassive black hole draws gas and dust into an immense accretion disk, would offer the perfect conditions to create a flare. Scott Hershberger, Scientific American, 1 July 2020 In particular, matter falling into the void should spiral at a high velocity outside the black hole’s equator, forming what astrophysicists call the accretion disk. Davide Castelvecchi, Scientific American, 23 Sep. 2020 The now iconic image of a black circle ringed with the intense light of an accretion disk the size of our solar system has eliminated any room for doubt. Daniel Garisto, Scientific American, 8 Oct. 2020 That binary system may have formed in the accretion disk surrounding a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 2 Sep. 2020 That binary system may have formed in the accretion disk surrounding a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 2 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'accretion disk.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of accretion disk

1972, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of accretion disk was in 1972

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Dictionary Entries Near accretion disk

accretion cutting

accretion disk

accretive

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Cite this Entry

“Accretion disk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/accretion%20disk. Accessed 29 Nov. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on accretion disk

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about accretion disk

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